4 December 2012

Kenya: Likoni Planned Evictions Threat to Poll Peace

THE planned eviction of more than 120,000 people on a 930-acre piece of land in Likoni is a threat to security and the general election if not properly handled, lobby groups have warned.

Hamisa Zaja of the Mombasa Local Urban Forum told journalists at a round-table meeting organised by International Rescue Centre in Mombasa yesterday that the Waitiki eviction should be handled carefully. He said land was an emotive issue in the region.

"The government and the leaders should agree on a common formula on how to deal with the Waitiki issue rather than issuing threats and inflammatory statements," said Hamisa.

The warning comes a day after local leaders led by Likoni MP Masood Mwahima, vowed to block the planned evictions by all means. She added, "Leaders should move swiftly because the situation on the ground is that people are starting to reverse their earlier negative thoughts about Mombasa Republican Council. They say MRC is even better placed to push for the solutions to their problems."

Hamisa also added that haphazard evictions at the coast, alleged interreligious conflict and failure by government to combat underlying and historical injustices were likely to be used as a scapegoat to cause mayhem in the region.

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